Roger Green answers the technology questions, “What piece of technology would you hate the most to lose? Which piece of technology do you wish would just disappear?” and so does Jaquandor, and the topic turns to word processors and typing.
I can’t remember if our Adam computer came with a learn-to-type program. I have this vague notion that it did but maybe not. I definitely remember getting a program called Typing Tutor for our first real PC. That’s how I first learned to type. The last time I used it it said I typed 20 WPM. Then I got a job that required using a computer but not necessarily to type very fast. So I got some practice every day. And of course we continued to buy newer, better computers every few years and then in the mid-90′s we got connected to the Internet and that’s when I started getting lots of practice.
I still can’t do the top row, the numbers and symbols, without looking but I think I do pretty good. But let’s see. Here’s a Typing Test. It said I type 40 WPM. I probably do a wee bit better than that when I’m just normal typing, not copying something and not doing a test. But I’m neither surprised nor disappointed.
I like typing. It’s sort of a funny thing. I just think words and sentences and my fingers go to the right keys without me even having to think about what the fingers are doing. Like magic, almost. Sometimes my fingers do funny things though, like typing a short word twice so I end up with something like “my fingers go to to the right keys”. And sometimes they will leave out a word. When I go back and proofread I find that a sentences is missing an “I” or an “a” that I was sure I typed. Even weirder than that, sometimes they will type completely the wrong word. I will think one word and my fingers type a completely different word. I can’t think of an example right now. It’s really freaky. But mostly I do okay. Typing is like a part of thinking. It sort of fascinates me the way it seems to just happen.
Now to go back to the questions: What piece of technology would you hate the most to lose? That is a really difficult question. I don’t want to loose any of it. If I had to pick just one thing I guess I would have to say Internet access. That’s not “a piece” of technology but, you know… all the pieces that enable me to get on the Internet.
Which piece of technology do you wish would just disappear? I can’t think of any technology that I wish would disappear. There are several that I would like to change in some way. The biggest thing is that I want everything to stop beeping at me. My microwave beeps loudly four times to tell me it’s done. I’m glad it has a signal to tell me it’s done but couldn’t it be something more pleasant? A nice little bell like the older ones had? It also beeps each time I push a button. That is totally unnecessary. I know when I’ve pushed a button. I don’t need a beep to tell me I just pushed a button. Whenever I have to reset the clock on my range it beeps once for each time I press a button. So if the power has been off for 30 minutes I have to listen to 30 beeps as I reset it. My washer and dryer also beep but at least I can choose to have those not beep. But the default is to beep so every time I change the setting on the dryer I have to tell it, again, that I do not want it to beep. Beep beep beep. Everything these days beeps. I am so tired of all the bleeping beeping!
There are other things too. Little details of the way things function. And printers. Don’t get me started on printers. Someone needs to re-invent the printer and build one that actually works all the time and for more than a few months. But no, I don’t want any piece of technology to disappear. I just want them all to work better, to work more the way I want them to work. I want to have freedom of choice. I want to be the boss of the machines instead of having the machines be the boss of me.